Beethoven. Piano Sonata No. 27 in E flat minor, Op. 90. In two movements: Mit Lebhafigheit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck, Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorzutragen. Artur Schnabel (1882-1951), piano. Recorded circa 1935; a collaboration between the Beethoven Sonata Society and HMV.
October 31, 2018 Subject:
Singular Sonata - But Uneven Perfrmance
Beethoven's music is often regarded as the bridge between the HIgh Classical era of Haydn and Mozart, and the Young, Romantic era soon to follow. Although there were always snippets of Romantic style in earlier Sonatas, particularly his most famous compositions, this Opus 90 Sonata was where I believe he made the first complete break with the classical mode. If I didn't know that it was a Beethoven composition, I would have guessed Franz Schubert, or maybe even a young Mendellsohn. Of course, I understand that it was composed several years after the preceding "Adieux" Sonata.
It's not particularly "great" music like his better known sonatats, but the 2nd movement is quite lyrical and song-like, and good listening.
I wish there was a better rendition on this site, than the one by Arthur Schnabel. He's indeed a master of the Beethovian piano technique, but his playing lacks the soul necessary to translate the music in Romantic style. Sorry, that's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. So, a medium rating.